Three Months After Capitol Shooting, Investigators Remain Quiet

It has been 90 days since a woman was killed by police near the Capitol, and investigators have yet to release their findings.

A Capitol Police car and a black Infinity after Thursday's shooting on Capitol Hill.
National Journal
Billy House
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Billy House
Jan. 8, 2014, 3:59 p.m.

More than three months after an un­armed wo­man was killed in a hail of po­lice gun­fire on Cap­it­ol Hill, her fam­ily’s law­yer is call­ing for au­thor­it­ies to re­lease the res­ults of their in­vest­ig­a­tion, and for Con­gress to use its own powers to look in­to the case. And some law­makers agree.

“While we un­der­stand po­lice shoot­ings must be care­fully in­vest­ig­ated be­cause of their so­cial and polit­ic­al rami­fic­a­tions, by now there should have been a pre­lim­in­ary ana­lys­is re­leased in the pub­lic ven­ue,” Eric Sanders, a New York-based civil-rights law­yer, wrote on his firm’s web­site.

Au­thor­it­ies have been si­lent re­gard­ing any find­ings so far of their re­view of the Oct. 3 in­cid­ent, in which Miri­am Carey, a 34-year-old dent­al hy­gien­ist from Con­necti­c­ut, was killed after lead­ing po­lice in a car chase from the White House with her 14-month-old baby on board.

“I think three months is plenty,” said Rep. Raul Gri­jalva, an Ari­zona Demo­crat, adding that he agrees that it may be time for Con­gress to take its own look.

“It does con­cern me that 90 days — 3 months after the event — we’ve re­ceived no re­port,” said Rep. Hank John­son, a Geor­gia Demo­crat. “We would like to un­der­stand what happened that day.”

John­son ad­ded: “I am con­cerned about a mov­ing vehicle be­ing fired at — at a time when it was known a baby was in the car. There are a lot of ques­tions that need to be answered.”

Rep. Al­cee Hast­ings, a Flor­ida Demo­crat, said, “For something that is that im­port­ant, it would seem to me that the au­thor­it­ies would act ex­ped­i­tiously. I would hope they would make as much in­form­a­tion avail­able as they can im­me­di­ately.”

A spokes­man for the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice, Wil­li­am Miller, said the in­vest­ig­a­tion is con­tinu­ing, though he could not say when find­ings may be re­leased. “These in­vest­ig­a­tions do take time and are looked at very thor­oughly and care­fully,” Miller said.

Mean­while, an un­spe­cified num­ber of Cap­it­ol Po­lice of­ficers re­main on ad­min­is­trat­ive leave stem­ming from the in­cid­ent, which of­fi­cials say is the usu­al pro­ced­ure. Of­fi­cials at the U.S. Cap­it­ol Po­lice, Secret Ser­vice, and in both the Sen­ate and House either de­clined to com­ment on Wed­nes­day or said they had no in­form­a­tion to provide.

But Sanders has star­ted to agit­ate for find­ings to be re­leased, say­ing in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day that the only of­fi­cial doc­u­ment he has ob­tained so far is a sworn af­fi­davit that was filed in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Wash­ing­ton seek­ing a search war­rant for Carey’s “per­son, place and things.”

Sanders also has pos­ted a memo on his firm’s web­site ques­tion­ing po­lice con­duct and ar­guing that the situ­ation was mis­handled.

For ex­ample, the af­fi­davit for the search war­rant al­leges that Carey “re­fused to stop” at a vehicle check­point near the White House and “made a U-turn” and al­legedly began to “flee,” he writes. But, Sanders ar­gues, “Turn­ing around and leav­ing is not vi­ol­at­ive of any laws. The ques­tion is: Why did po­lice pur­sue Miri­am?”

The af­fi­davit also men­tions that a Secret Ser­vice of­ficer ini­tially at­temp­ted to block her car with a bi­cycle rack, but the car pushed over the rack, knock­ing the of­ficer to the ground. It was from that point, after the in­cid­ent at the bar­ri­er at 15th and Pennsylvania Av­en­ue, that the chase began; shots were fired as the car con­tin­ued mov­ing, and Carey was shot to death after com­ing to a halt near the Cap­it­ol. The child is now with her fath­er, said Sanders.

Sanders, a former New York City po­lice of­ficer, says the af­fi­davit shows that “these po­lice of­ficers com­pletely mis­handled this simple ‘street en­counter.’” He also dis­misses the no­tion that Carey’s car it­self rep­res­en­ted, leg­ally, a “deadly weapon.”

“This is ser­i­ous, be­cause nev­er has there been an un­armed wo­man killed [near] the na­tion’s Cap­it­ol, right in front of the in­ter­na­tion­al com­munity,” Sanders said in an in­ter­view. He ar­gues fur­ther in his post­ing that if people don’t see a prob­lem with what he calls the “si­lence” sur­round­ing this in­cid­ent, “We as a coun­try are in very ser­i­ous trouble.”

What We're Following See More »
TRIBUTES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Former Israeli President & PM Shimon Peres Dies at 93
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Two weeks after a massive stroke, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president and prime minister of Israel Shimon Peres passed away late Tuesday night. In a political, military, and diplomatic career that lasted nearly 70 years, Peres was influential both in building up the formidable strength of the Israeli military and in seeking to negotiate lasting peace with Israel's many neighboring Arab countries. Within hours of the announcement of his death, both condolences and tributes began pouring in, including from former President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair.

AFRAID HE’S TAKING SUPPORT FROM CLINTON
Democrats Taking Aim at Gary Johnson
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Democrats panicked by third-party candidates drawing support away from Hillary Clinton are ramping up their attacks against Gary Johnson and warning that a vote for a third party is a vote for Donald Trump. Liberal groups are passing around embarrassing videos of Johnson and running ads against him warning about his positions on issues like climate change that are important to young voters and independents."

Source:
RUSSIA DENIES
Dutch Investigators: MH17 Was Downed by Russian Launcher
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Russo-Western relations are getting thornier all the time. "Dutch-led criminal investigators said Wednesday they have solid evidence that a Malaysian jet was shot down by a Buk missile moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia. Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Central Crime Investigation department of the Dutch National Police, said communications intercepts showed that pro-Moscow rebels had called for deployment of the mobile surface-to-air weapon, and reported its arrival in rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine." Russia, of course, is denying culpability.

Source:
FIRST DEMOCRAT ENDORSEMENT EVER
Arizona Republic Endorses Clinton
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

In its roughly 125-year history, the Arizona Republic has never endorsed a Democratic candidate for president. Until now. "The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified," the editors write, as they throw their support to Hillary Clinton.

Source:
TO BE INCLUDED IN SEPARATE BILL
Deal on Flint Aid Likely to Avert Shutdown
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have reached a deal which is likely to avert a government shutdown. The biggest impediment had been the GOP's refusal to include funding for Flint water system reconstruction in the continuing resolution, and this solution provides an alternative measure likely to appease both sides. The funding for Flint will be included in the Water Resources and Development Act as an amendment to the version passed by the House of Representatives, one which will be passed in the senate. It now appears likely that Congress will in fact be able to keep the government open.

Source:
×